Updated: Dec 20, 2014 1:57 pm Eastern Standard Time (GMT -05:00)
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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

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Outcast 1.1 Released

Outcast 1.1 is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering an updated version of this classic action/adventure game that comes as a surprise following a failed kickstart (thanks Kotaku). The Steam release notes just list a few fixes, but GOG.com has more details:

About: Outcast 1.1 has been recompiled from the original source code and improved to run smoothly on today's computers. The main improvements compared to the original version are: multithreaded voxel renderer for higher performances, software bilinear filtering on polygonal meshes, part of the HUD redesigned to match higher resolutions, new high-resolution sky paintings, new launcher, native support of xbox gamepad, user-friendly controller configuration, a lot of bugs fixed and improved stability.

Please note: Outcast Classic remains available for download as a bonus goodie.

As part of a covert experiment, the US military deployed a probe designed to prove the existence of a parallel universe hidden from our own. Although the probe successfully entered the alternate universe and reached a planet called Adelpha, its first crucial data transmission is mysteriously cut short.

The probe's unexpected demise triggers a disastrous chain of events resulting in the creation of a black hole, one that threatens to destroy the Earth. Unless the missing probe can somehow be found and repaired, planet Earth itself is doomed.

  • Vast and diverse continents to explore, inhabited by thousands of living creatures
  • An excellent mix of action and adventure, well-designed combat and complete freedom of movement
  • One of the best games of 1999 with a memorable and believable storyline set in the not-so-distant future

Steamship Ahoy - Assetto Corsa

Assetto Corsa is now available on Steam, featuring the official release of this racing game following a few laps around the early access track. The game is 30% off for the next couple of weeks, and here's word on what it has to offer:

Assetto Corsa 1.0 is out now! Assetto Corsa 1.0 is now available for download on Steam! Version 1.0 signifies not just the long-term achievement but also a new start. The hugely successful Early Access program is now complete thanks to the contribution of hundreds of thousands of gamers.

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Corto Maltese - Secrets of Venice on Just Adventure.
  • Elite: Dangerous on IGN. Thanks Cutter.

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We had plans for a family holiday gathering today, but a young one with a fever caused things to be postponed until after the new year. It will be nice to see everyone, but it is also nice to be able to relax instead. And there's even football on this afternoon, though we'll have to count on the unpredictable competitiveness of divisional games (and the unpredictable nature of Mark Sanchez) if the Redskins are to make a game of it.

Game Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Smokin Barrels 2.
Gift Rush 2.
CS Portable.
Science: How Exercise Changes Our DNA. Thanks Slashdot.
Images: Connecting to WoW- Spin! That! Wheel!
Media: Freeman's Mind: Episode 66.
Kim Jong Un Death Scene From -The Interview-
Star Wars prequel-nostalgia critic gets owned by Mr Plinkett. NSFW.

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Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Respawn on Titanfall on Origin vs. Steam

There's an interview on GameInformer.com talking with Vince Zampella about Titanfall, Respawn's "mystery project," and more. They frame one question around their theory that the PC edition of the multiplayer mech shooter suffered from being on Origin rather than Steam. His response doesn't disagree, as he says: "At some point you look at it and you say is it even worth now this much later the effort to put it on Steam, when it would be a lot of work and kind of bifurcate the community? We would have loved for it to be on Steam from day one, but at some point it just doesn't make sense anymore and you start looking to the future and I think we should not make that same decision again."

Be John Malkovich in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC

Here's a teaser trailer showing off the terror of the exo zombies coming to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in the upcoming Havoc DLC pack for the military shooter sequel. Word is: "Untrained and unprepared, four Atlas employees must survive a horror unlike any other. John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal star in Exo Zombies, coming to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC in 2015." None of the virtual versions of the stars appears in the clip, but it is narrated by John Malkovich. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Trials Fusion MP Open Beta Weekend

Ubisoft is offering limited free access to the beta of online multiplayer support in Trials Fusion, the Windows edition of the motorcycle racing sequel. This is expected to come to both the Windows and console editions of the game via a free update early next year. Free access should now be underway, and the game's website has more details on what to expect:

We’re happy to announce the Trials Fusion PC Multiplayer Beta Open Weekend. Anyone who owns a PC (that meets the minimum system requirements) can pick up 3 days of Trials Fusion MP playtime during the Beta Open Weekend. All you have to do is open the Uplay PC Client, click the Free tab in the top left, and selecting Trials Fusion Multiplayer Beta.

Starting at approximately 10am CET on Friday, December 19th and running until approximately 10am CET on Monday, December 22nd, players can experience the 8-player intensity of Trials Fusion multiplayer in public matches, as well as the insanity of setting up their own custom experience with modifiers in private matches.

Track builders can also get an early look at X-Supercross specific editor features and get a feel for how their creation workflow might change when Multiplayer launches for all platforms in early 2015. Creative players can even take the opportunity to enter a track in our Beta Buildoff Challenge.

Panache's "Historical-Action-Survival" Game & Free Game for Fans

VideoGamer.com has first word on the first project from Panache Digital Games, the studio recently formed by former Ubisoft designer Patrice Désilets. Details are extremely scant, but he says this will be something called a "video game," hopefully using air quotes when saying it. "Indeed AAA Games, I believe in them. I believe wholeheartedly that this medium we call 'video games' can be a positive force for change in our society and that AAA quality gaming experiences have unmatched strength to achieve this." As for the game itself, the one detail offered seems to fit well with his history with the Assassin's Creed series, as he says Panache's debut will be a "3rd person Historical-Action-Survival game, noting himself this is: "Something that we have done quite well in the past." This is all in an email to supporters, and Patrice says Panache plans on supporting them back with the release of a free to play game that's not a free-to-play game," though it's not clear if this will be the new title referenced above, as he states:

That said, I wanted to find a way to thank you for your patience and your outburst of good wishes and love. For you, our first and beloved supporters, my team and I have decided that we will give you a full copy of our next game. Let's call it a free to play game that's not a 'free-to-play' game. You have taken the time out of your busy schedules to give us your email contact info, to join us and become our first community. Again, simply out of trust, out of love for what we’ve done in the past. We continue to be deeply touched by the gesture.

Larian's "Leaked" RPG Plans

A post to the Larian Studios blog by Swen Vincke talks about unannounced future plans for the developer following the success of Divinity: Original Sin, saying two more RPGs are in the works following their RPG sequel (thanks Eurogamer). The headline refers to the revelations being "leaked" and Vincke refers to their plans as "secret," but neither of those terms actually apply to things you come out an announce, though he is still keeping things close to the vest for now. He does say both games will use improved versions of the engine from Divinity: Original Sin, and that each will also be coming to Linux and consoles:

Fixing things is not all we’re doing however, far from it. We’re not hiring all those people just to transform D:OS in a better experience, no, obviously we’re also working on our new RPGs.

Notice the ‘s’. It’s intentional and while I’d love to tell you more about them, I need to refrain for fear of losing whatever press momentum we’ll be able to muster when we’ll announce them. But there’s one I thing I can already tell you, and it fits well with the second big thing we’re doing to improve the quality of our future offerings – both RPGs are being built on top of the D:OS engine.

It’s an important thing, because it means that whatever we fix in D:OS, will automatically be present in our new RPGs. It also means that we can spend most of our resources on developing new cool stuff without having to reinvent things that worked well already. And it immediately gives us a rationale for putting unreasonable amounts of effort in fixing the things we didn’t do that well in D:OS, meaning our existing players will continue to get improved gameplay for as long as we can maintain compatibility. Furthermore, it also means that the toolset is going to be improved for a long time to come and so eventually we’ll get more and better mods. We’ll even have a Linux version ;)

We call it the secret Larian plan which now obviously isn’t that secret anymore, if ever it was. Our goal is to make new campaigns based on the same core single- and multi-player RPG engine which continuously gets improved, to perfect the rulesets driving it and to increase the amount of stuff you can do in our RPG worlds, all the while making the lore and universe(s) more solid. That latter (s) btw is something that may or may not materialise, so don’t wonder about it too much right now ;)

There’s tons of stuff we can do in the type of gameworlds we pioneered with D:OS and we intend to show that it was a mistake to abandon this type of gameplay in the beginning of the century, taking full advantage of the effort we already poured into D:OS.

You’re not going to see huge animated movies with barely interactive worlds from us in which millions of dollars go to cutscenes. Instead, you’ll see dense, highly interactive worlds where the amount of possible interactions continuously increases and your freedom to do as you want approaches that of a pen & paper RPG. That too costs a lot, but it yields gameplay which is much more up my alley and thankfully, there are a lot of you who enjoy it. As long as that is the case, we’ll keep on making games like this.

World Wide Funder Refutes STALKER Apocalypse Collusion

West Games has returned to the spotlight with renewed efforts to fund their proposed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. homage, now titled STALKER Apocalypse, and once again controversy has followed. The new crowdfunding campaign is being conducted through World Wide Funder, and with this new outfit having no history to speak of and a smattering of small projects with no pledges, some have proposed that World Wide Funder is somehow being run in collusion with West Games. The folks from World Wide Funder have issued the following statement refuting this:

We are the team behind the crowd funding website, WFUNDER. We're contacting you to clear up some confusion and to talk about the unique features of our website. One of the projects on our website, Stalker Apocalypse, has stirred up a lot of controversy lately, as well as even more speculation. We've had people who tried to hack our website (unsuccessfully), lots of emails, and some threats over this project.

Some have even said that we are the same company. Well, the company West Games did not make our website. This confusion came about because Leonid Kovtun is a member of our company. He knows West Games, and showed our platform to them. Unfortunately, some people jumped to conclusions, and wrongfully associated us as one and the same.

WFUNDER is a platform that gives people unique social options and a great degree of creative freedom. We weren't satisfied with the rigidity and limitations that most crowd funding platforms presented, so we decided to create our own platform. In contrast to other websites, we allow people from around the world to post projects on our website, and we encourage a wide variety of different projects. The amount of financial options that we provide means that you don't need to to be in the U.S. or Europe to post projects on our website. So for example, if you're in Poland, India or Brazil, then you can easily post a project on our U.S. based website.

We've implemented unique features like Blogs, Ask me Anythings and Videochat that make us stand out from the competition. As WFUNDER grows, we plan on implementing more features and gradually improving our website.

Getting back to Stalker Apocalypse, many people have asked us to shut the project down. The simple answer is that we won't unless the project creator asks us to do so (in which case all funder contributions will be refunded). We've reached out to West Games, and they have shown us that they have the rights to use that name for their project.

We hope their project is successful, despite the controversy that they've stirred, and we think that people should lighten up on them a little. They look like a passionate team of people who want to make a spectacular game.

WFUNDER is a unique crowd funding website that embraces projects from around the world. Discover projects, join discussions and create your own projects by visiting our website: https://www.wfunder.com.

Killing Floor 2 Video Diary

Tripwire Interactive now offers a new video developer diary that's part one of a three-part series on the weapons and perks in their upcoming first-person shooter sequel. In the clip they discuss their focus on the weapons in the game, noting that they are sacrificing some of their usual focus on fidelity for things that involve a little more imagination. Here's a bit: "Known for having high-quality, realistic guns in their games, the Tripwire Interactive team are no strangers when it comes to packing their virtual armory with weapons of all types. In this brand new developer diary installment, Weapons and Perks: Part 1, the team gives an inside look at what it takes to push the weapons and perk systems to the next level in KILLING FLOOR 2. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the new and exciting tools that players will have at their fingertips to kill hordes of the deadly zeds. Whether it is traditional weaponry, sci-fi-themed armaments or even post-apocalyptic hybrid arms, KILLING FLOOR 2 will continue to expand upon its already vast arsenal, while keeping fan-favorites from the first title when the game releases next year." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Patches

Op Ed

The Conversation - Video games have cultural cachet – so recognise their place in society and history. Thanks HARDOCP.
"Games are cultural products – they’ve been exhibited in the Barbican in London, at MoMA in New York City, and in in many other leading museums. The curator for the MoMA show, Paola Antonelli, said: “I really do believe that design is the highest form of creative expression”. We need to take that leap of imagination and approach games and the development of them as an extension of our creative industries."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor on gamesTM.

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

With Christmas next week, this weekend will be a focal point for festivities. Something I'm personally looking forward to is watching the disc I just got for Babes in Toyland, aka March of the Wooden Soldiers, which I've loved since endless viewings throughout my childhood on local mainstay WPIX. The neat thing about the disc, besides the lack of commercials, is that this is a restored version that includes the original black & white version as well as a colorized edition, since colorization is something the purist in me does not appreciate at all. "Upset? I'm housebroken!"

Babes in Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: A Stroll in Space.
Strike Force Commando.
Link: The Worst Christmas Movie Ever (Viewed 12 Times in a Row).
Story: 'The Big Lebowski': Now preserved for all time.
Media: Colbert All Star Singing Final.
You're Welcome - The Colbert Report.
Cat Chases Fish On Frozen Pond.

Slashdot - News for Nerds! Read the funny pages. Supporting free speech on the Internet Go nuts! Use Lynx and see if I care.


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